WHY we are repeating our history again over and over and over?
To whom it may concern.
My name is JimAnderson i am the cultural liasion for the Mendota Dakota people of minnesota.Its has come to my attention That we are repeating history again.Back in 1990s our community reformed after many years of not knowing who we were as Dakota people.Of course many people questioned the same who are you.After years of researching from our members and other Dakota relatives we found what our true history is.What happened to our relatives and most of the information came from MHS[ minnesota historical society] archcives.
We spent 17 months protecting cold water spring from destruction and got the law passed to protect the flow to and from the spring.Even though some Dakotas from recognized tribes said we should not have a say because of our status with state and federal governments.
There was even an inhouse memo from than Director Nina Archibaldto employees not to help us with our history research at MHS But we continue to do our research with help from people like Chris Leath spiritual leader prarie island Dakota,Art and Ray owens,Emmit Eastman and many other well respected federally recognizes Dakotas.They know who we areand what happened to the mendota Dakota.Also many non indian people like Dr Bruce White,Alan Woolworth and other professional historians.Over 20 years ago we started working with the MHS on the Dakota history series at our ancestrial Dupee house. we had Dakota speaker like pastor Gary Cavender spiritual elder Pryor Lake,Chuck Derby Pipe Makerpipestone,Lewis Goobird story teller and many others that know our history and know we are Dakotas.
Even with all this support we still have native and non native people questioning us abuot we are. The Dakota from Pryor Lake were upset and said because we were not federally recognized.that we did not have the right to say anything about our Dakota history or the right to work with MHS to help and teach Dakota history in Mendota.Back in 200? a archialogcal dig was going on in Bloomington Minnesota.
the late Vernon Bellecourt called me to say there was a dig going on and i should check it out.When we found the Lincoln Mound site named in the book Aborigines on minnesota.Because it was a known burial mound.The developer knew it was a documented Dakota burial mound.
When we reached the site Jim Jones from the Minnesota Indian Affairs council was in the trench under a large tent with a cyclone fence aroundit.When he saw me his eyes got very big and he said Jim what are you doing here. My answer was no Jim what are you doing here. he crawled out of the trench and started to explane that they were they were doing a paliminary dig to see what was there.He than told me they had already found some remains that have been disturbed and there plan was to remove them.Thats when i said let me get this right your doing a paliminary dig already found Dakota remains and made the decision to remove them.Isaid thats just wrong Jim you must stop this project NOW and rebury the remains you found.Thats when he said to me Jim dont do this we have a very good working repore with the Mcgough company and I should not jepardize this relationship
Thats when we called the media and put up our Mendota tipi to protest the desacration of another known Sacred site in this area. than i called the owner of the Mcgough company and explaned that this site should be protected because its in the book Aborigines of minnesota and is a documented Dakota burial mound.I also told him this could be the perfect opportunity to do the right thing and protect site by erecting a plaque to commerate all the sacred mounds that have already been distroyed by developer in Bloomington Minnesota.But again i was told that he did not have to listen to me because i did not come from a federally recognized tribe.He said that the Pryor Lake Dakota and the Minnesota Indian Affairs council gave there permission to distroy this documented burial mound.
The proof was that Lenord Wapahasha was the cultural liasion for Pryor Lake Dakota,He was there smugging box`s that they were removing for the site. When we asked what was in the box`s he told me glass shards and other garbage from the Lincoln family dump. i ask to see inside the box`s again he refused because we were not recognized we did not have the right to know.Than the lawyers for Pryor Lake Dakotas put in the startribune that Jim Anderson does not speak for the recognized minnesota Dakota and he was disrepecting the remains because of his protest and by demanding the remains be reburied and to stop the project.
We tried to get more information about what was in the box`s but we were again denied. So with Dr Bruce White We contacted the Attorney General Mike Hatch and he made them turn over the final report under the freedom of information act the LIncoln mound study.In the report our worst fears were confirmed they had found and dug up 55 sets of our Dakota relatives remains or as Lenord refered to them as shards of glass and garbage. They removed our Dakota relatives from there resting place a sacred place but this was not a normal burial.It was avery special circle burial with children in the middle surrounded by womenand around them were the men,warriors to protect them in the afterlife.But these Dakotas were not Federally Recognized so no one listened to them cause they had no voice.So again we lost this very inportant sacred site because we dont have the right to speak up for those with out a voice our dead Dakota relatives all for another condominium.
But we continued to fight when they proposed to build condominniums onPilot Nob Hill after the first public meeting in Mendota Heights.We introduced ourselfs to the owner of the development company and told him there would be no development on our sacred site Oheyawahi or hill much visited.With mainly non Dakotas we protected in perpetuity this DakotaJim Jones Indian Affairs Council told me that they need us tospeak up because recognized tribes are afraid to say anything.Because if they speak up against the goverment federal and state they may lose there right to gambling so i dont blame them. Because its a form of extortion and blackmail the government use`s to the indigenious from speaking out when there being wronged.even when its a sacred burial site.
So this letter our proof that the Mendota Dakota need to be recognized by the state of Minnesota.So we can speak and be recognized for our relatives of the past that dont have a voice.these things are of great inportance to all indigenious people.With state recognition the MEndota Dakota wont have to prove who we are when we speak up.Everyone will know WHO and WHY we will never stop fighting for our rights as Dakotas of Minnesota.Our Mendota relatives never left the sacred Mdote and are still being punished for staying in this Sacred Place were our story comes from.
Respectfully Yours Jim Anderson.